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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Young Chris at The TLA, The Gallerist at Bourbon and Branch, Divers at World Cafe Live at The Queen

Young Chris | photo via hiphopsince1987.com
Young Chris | photo via hiphopsince1987.com

Philly rapper Young Chris headlines the TLA tonight. Emerging on the scene 12 years ago as an affiliate of Beanie Siegel and Freeway’s State Property collective, he branched out on his own, first as part of Young Gunz and then as a solo artist. When it comes to mixtapes, this dude is prolific, releasing on average two per year since 2007 (and embarking on the ambitious 30 Days / 30 Verses project in 2009). After a couple years of dropping random freestyle clips, Chris re-emerged this spring with the Philly-centric Gunna Season mixtape, which was praised by Stereogum: “the Philly veteran…just raps. And it’s great because he’s great at it.” Tickets and information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar; below, watch Young Chris’ video for “I’m Alive.” Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Thee, Idea Men

Call ‘em blues, garage or modern, Philly’s Thee, Idea Men are a tight and infectious rock four-piece. Emerging in 2012 from the Drexel University scene that also gave us Lucy Stone and W.C. Lindsay, the band’s rumbling Stratocaster overdrive (guided by frontman Matt Jurasek and lead guitarist Matt Raspanti) was in top form on their 2012 release New Level Shoes. Recorded with Tommy Joyner at MilkBoy and released in May, the album sits nicely alongside festival scene favorites J Roddy Walston & The Business and The Weeks, reviving a classic American music style in a contemporary setting. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Field Report at Underground Arts, Esperanza Spalding at The Keswick Theatre, and Ron Gallo at Bourbon and Branch

Field Report
Field Report | Photo courtesy of the artist

As part of Communion Philly, a monthly series of shows created by Mumford & Sons’ Ben Lovett, critically-acclaimed Wisconsin folk band Field Report will be playing Underground Arts tonight. Fronted by Chris Porterfield (who played in DeYarmon Edison with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver), as well as multiple members of psych-folk group Megafaun, the band will be bringing their poetic lyricism and beautiful signature melodic-yet-ambient acoustic sound to Philadelphia to headline a night of diverse music with a lineup ranging from alternative rock to swing-hop to, of course, folk. Other groups playing include Portland, Oregon’s Quiet Life, and Philadelphia groups Birdie Busch and the Greatest Night, Weekender, and Marian Hill. Doors open at 8:00 p.m., tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Dr. Dog at the Mann, Mo Lowda and the Humble at Bourbon and Branch, and Jad Fair and Danielson at Boot and Saddle

Photo by Nicky Devine
Photo by Nicky Devine

Long-time Philadelphia indie-rock favorites Dr. Dog are set to take the stage at the Mann tonight. With over eight albums and a handful of EPs under their belts, the six-piece has a plethora of material to chose from to curate a rockin’ set-list. Their most recent album, B-Room, has a psychedelic flair with tracks like “The Truth” and “Love.” For tickets and more information head over to the XPN Concert Calender. Below, check out the music video for “Shadow People.” Continue reading →

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Watch Ron Gallo play the sultry new “Relentless Man” in his bedroom

Photo via www.facebook.com/rongallomusic
Photo via www.facebook.com/rongallomusic

Ron Gallo, former front-man of Philadelphia’s blues and rock outfit Toy Soldiers has shared a new song “Relentless Man.” The track was released via music video that was shot live in Gallo’s bedroom by Caitlin McCann, taking his knack for delivering raw music one step further. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: The Weaks

When they were both players in the dearly departed Philly indie pop collective Dangerous Ponies, singer-guitarists Evan Bernard and Chris Baglivo cooked up The Weaks as as writing exercise of sorts. The goal was a song a week, and though the schedule didn’t totally shake out that way, the first of their two Bandcamp pages quickly filled up with a huge variety of super-catchy singles – some were raw and lo-fi, others were polished and poppy; some were gruff 70s-style rockers, other were hard hitting jams reminiscent of the alt-rock 90s. Over time the project became a real-world band, and earlier this year its debut EP The World Is A Terrible Place and I Hate Myself and Want to Die was released on local label Lame-O Records. The record is a total stew of everything that’s loud and fun and thrilling about rock and roll – guitar harmonies and wild solos, counterpoint vocals and searing screams, slamming drumbeats and total infectiousness.

For their Key Studio Session, The Weaks played two songs from the forthcoming full-length they’re releasing on Lame-O, and you’ll hear undeniable hints of Weezer, Cheap Trick, Smashing Pumpkins and any variety of other popular faves. Bernard tells me that writing for for albums or EPs isn’t tremendously different from writing for the ongoing project. Basically, he and Baglivo just crank out songs at different paces – him more spontaneous and explosive, Baglivo more meticulous and crafted. When it’s time for a release, they pick the best of what’s ready to go. Of the 30-plus unreleased songs they’ve got in their repertoire right now, 11 will be on the LP, and the rest will be parsed out in the ongoing semi-weekly releases – which, when you think in terms of numbers, that’s a pretty impressive output. Stream and download this week’s Key Studio Session with the band below, and to take in The Weaks live – the lineup is nicely rounded out by bassist Corey Bernard, guitarist Austin Jefferson and drummer Mike Tashjian (another former Dangerous Pony) – set your sights on new NoLibs venue Bourbon and Branch on Friday night, where they’ll appear on the Sounds for Sustainability showcase.

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Dreamy psych-rockers Weekender are playing a wad of summer shows

weekender
Weekender | photo courtesy of the artist

Philly psych-pop band Weekender prove there ain’t no rest for the wicked. After headlining Kung Fu Necktie last night, the fuzzy dreampop  outfit is playing a slew of shows in Philly this summer, including local stops at Bourbon and Branch May 31, KFN June 11, the Firefly Festival in Delaware June 22, and then closing out at The Fire June 27.  With pop beats, cutting riffs and droning guitars, Weekender is an ideal summer soundtrack.The band has promised a follow-up album to 2013′s EP Spanish Peaks this summer, but no word yet on a date. In the mean time, check out their very psychedelic Off the Avenue live session in Savannah, Georgia below.

 

 

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: A.M. Mills at Ortliebs, Dawn Hiatt at Tin Angel, The Warhawks at Kung Fu Necktie and more

Photo courtesy of the artist
Photo courtesy of the artist

Philly singer-songwriter A.M. Mills celebrated Record Store Day at AKA Music and tonight he plays at Ortlieb’s. Last month, he released a stellar track titled “Wreckin’ My World” which has a ’70s California-rock ballad feel to it (think Tom Petty). It’s simple, melodic and feels good all around. Check it out below and get tickets here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Nickel Creek at Tower Theater, Matt Pond PA at Underground Arts, Nels Cline at Johnny Brenda’s

Photo by Brantley Gutierrez

Acoustic folk trio Nickel Creek are riding high on the success of their new album A Dotted Line, which arrived last month and coincided with their 25th anniversary as a band. Tonight they bring the excitement to the Tower Theater stage. Mostly folk but at times leaning toward bluegrass, their music, which rests on the band’s intricate musicianship and harmonies, has a raw quality that’s soulful at heart. Watch them perform “Rest Of My Life” live on Soundcheck below and get tickets here.

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